On any given day, you’ll usually come across straight from the headlines about cases of communicable diseases such as MRSA. It’s prevalent in schools, offices, and in places where many of us consider safe. So what are communicable diseases exactly and why is it important that you should be aware of it? Perhaps the most important thing is, what can you do to prevent it?
Today we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about MRSA and how cleanups are conducted in order to prevent the bacteria from spreading to the public.
5 fast facts you should know about MRSA
1. MRSA is a bacterium
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that causes infections when it comes in contact with an individual. These bacteria are tougher to treat than most strains of staph because of how resistant it is to common antibiotics. MRSA symptoms vary and depend on where an individual is infected. It can range from mild skin infections like sores or boils to much more complicated ones like cellulitis. MRSA can also infect your lungs or urinary tract.
While most MRSA infections aren’t life-threatening, in some cases they can. Public health experts have been increasingly worried about the spread of tough strains of MRSA because it continues to develop resistance to antibiotics, making it difficult to treat.
2. These bacteria are found everywhere
About 2% of the healthy population are infected with MRSA and are naturally found on the skin. These bacteria are found everywhere and they don’t usually cause harm unless they make their way inside the body. It can foster in open wounds and skin irritation is one of the many indications that you have MRSA. Children who have underdeveloped immune systems as well as the elderly are at risk of bacterial infection caused by MRSA.
3. MRSA is fairly easy to catch
Because of how widespread MRSA is, anyone can acquire the bacteria easily. Those who neglect proper hygiene are mainly the carriers, but if you share any personal items like towels or razors, you can spread the bacteria. MRSA can be transferred by coming in contact with any infected person or item such as shaking hands or touching an object shortly.
4. There are two main types of MRSA
Two main types of MRSA have been identified and these are community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) and healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). The former occurs in people who carry MRSA outside of healthcare facilities while the latter is primarily found in hospital patients and care residents. Public schools, gyms, and highly populated areas are common sources of MRSA.
5. You can protect yourself from MRSA
While most of the population carries MRSA, not all are infected by it. You can reduce bacterial infection by washing your hands regularly. Avoid sharing any personal items and cover up any open wounds to prevent MRSA from entering your body. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any severe skin infections.
Who is at risk for MRSA infections?
Individuals who have skin breaks (open wounds, surgical cuts, or scrapes) are at a high risk of MRSA infection. Hospital patients with skin ulcers and intravenous lines are more likely to acquire MRSA infections as well. People with weak immune systems (children, elderly people, HIV-infected individuals) are also vulnerable to MRSA infections. Pneumonia caused by MRSA can be transmitted to other individuals through coughing.
Patients in health care facilities are often the most vulnerable because of how easy it is to spread HA-MRSA through coming in contact with hospital gowns, beds, and other infected items. CA-MRSA on the other hand, is much less common than HA-MRSA but the risks are still present. Skin-to-skin contact with infected individuals such as playing sports can cause an MRSA infection. Military bases, on-campus housing and jails can cause a widespread MRSA infection.
HA-MRSA infection prevention tips
Health-care associated MRSA infections can be prevented by adhering to the measures listed below. Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers should do the following:
- Wash hands first before interacting with the patient and use an alcohol-based hand rub afterwards.
- Ensure that hospital rooms and equipment are thoroughly sanitized.
- Separate MRSA-infected patients from other patients to prevent the spread of MRSA infections.
- Healthcare providers should wear gloves and gowns when interacting with MRSA-infected patients.
- Patients infected with MRSA should limit movement around the hospital to avoid contaminating other patients.
- Conduct MRSA swabbing to identify if non-MRSA-infected patients have MRSA present on their skin.
CA-MRSA infection prevention tips
Community-associated MRSA prevention requires a different approach than HA-MRSA. The following measures will help reduce the risk of CA-MRSA infection outside of healthcare facilities:
- Make it a habit to wash your hands regularly.
- Avoid sharing any personal items such as towels, cosmetics, soaps, creams, and lotions.
- Cover up any superficial wounds such as scrapes, scratches, and cuts.
- Always cover your mouth when coughing to avoid transmitting MRSA to other individuals.
If a healthcare facility or property is infected with MRSA, it’s best to call a professional cleaning company to eliminate the bacteria and prevent the spread of MRSA infection. Communicable disease cleanups require experience and expertise to ensure that MRSA is thoroughly removed.
MRSA is a bacterium that requires the attention of the general population. This kind of bacteria can cause serious and life-threatening complications if preventative measures aren’t taken. Follow these tips to prevent MRSA infections and hire the services of a professional cleaning company to eliminate traces of MRSA in infected properties and health care facilities.